Expat Life in Metro Manila: What to Know



When you are an expat and plan to move to the Philippines, you will most likely end up in Metro Manila. The capital of the country, it is also where most businesses set up shop. It is also where the infrastructure is most developed. To help make your move more straightforward, here are some tips on what to expect when it comes to starting life in the busiest place in the country.

A Proper House
Though expats technically can't own land, foreign nationals are allowed to buy houses. This is the best option if you are planning to stay long-term in the country. But be prepared to hunt around some if you are looking for larger spaces. If you want to be close to metropolitan centres, you have competition in the form of other expats and locals who want to have convenient homes.

An easier option would be to buy a condo or rent an apartment. There are more of these available, with condominium development being a popular investment for many people. You can buy apartments, as long as 60 per cent of the building is Filipino-owned. If you have a Filipino spouse, this might be a good option.

The best way to get some accommodations though is to hire a broker and give them some specifications. Navigating through everything can be confusing, and a local can make it easier for you.

Travelling Around
One of the things you have to become familiar with is transportation. Your current license can function for 90 days before you need a local equivalent. You will also need some insurance. You will need it since Metro Manila has a major traffic problem. Driving in the city can be a stressful experience. Public transportation can also be difficult to navigate if you are not used to it. It is recommended to have a guide when you are just starting to make things easier for you.

Getting Proper Schooling
One of the worries that expats have is how their children will get a proper education in the country. Fortunately, that should be easy. Several international schools will be ready to accommodate your kids, no matter what age they are. There is also a healthy variety among them, so no matter what type of schooling they had, they should be able to continue in their school easily.

As for private schools, instruction is available in both Filipino and English, so it should be simple to find a local private school that will be good for your kids. As for further education, there are colleges and international schools in the Philippines that offer baccalaureate programs for expatriates. Admission requirements are easy to meet, and your children should be able to start in no time.

Start Your New Life Right
Metro Manila is a great place to live, with all the amenities that you need for a comfortable life. But it does have its ups and downs. The guide above should give you an idea of what to expect so that you can be ready for it. With the advanced warning, you should be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that expats face in the Philippines.





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